February 4, 2015

Isaiah 23:9 The Lord Almighty planned it,
to bring low the pride of all glory
and to humble all who are renowned on the earth.

The Bible makes it very clear that it’s dangerous in the extreme to get puffed up. The examples are virtually countless (though probably someone has painstakingly gone through and counted them). We see people around us all the time who need to get over themselves, to stop taking themselves so seriously. We do need to understand that we are valuable in God’s eyes and He loves us enough to send His Son to be our Savior, but that’s true for every individual on the face of the earth; we have no room for pride of comparison. We all know people who are destroyed, or at least severely damaged, by a poor self image, but we also know people who are so focused on themselves that they are useless to anyone, including themselves. The biggest problem with fame is that we can be deceived into thinking it’s real, that we somehow deserve it. There are numbers of people today who are famous for being famous, and that’s about as empty as it comes. We have got to recognize our dependence on the grace of God if we are to experience the genuine good and blessing He intends for us.

As I keep being reminded, I have certainly had my struggles with pride of comparison, with being puffed up over one thing or another. It’s never been good for me or for anyone else in the long run. Now I take satisfaction in being able to do some things well, but there is gratitude to God for making it possible. I delight in seeing people be delighted and enthusiastic over things my wife does – cooking, crafts and a number of other things – but there is no jealousy that she can do them much better than I can. I believe that’s how God intends it to be. God pours out His blessings “on the just and on the unjust,” (Matthew 5:45) but whether we perceive that it is all grace, unmerited favor, determines in large part into which category we fall. I am to be grateful for all of God’s blessings and not deny any of them, but not think that they give me any more inherent value than anyone else.

Father, thank You for Your great patience with me over the years. In Your place, I would have given up on me a long time ago! Help me exercise that patience toward those around me, speaking Your truth to them in Your love whether they receive it or not, demonstrating Your love in practical ways so that their hearts may be opened to see and acknowledge You, for their salvation and Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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